Many a person first starts really to look at himself, or his lifestyle, after he has had his first coronary. He will want to know what the relaxation response can provide in the way of rehabilitation at this stage. To some extent the selected relaxation regime will be dictated by what the heart specialist has to say about the victim’s cardiac fitness – that is, how well the heart now functions as a pump.
In many cases the heart remains virtually as fit as it was before the thrombosis. Often the heart specialist will establish that his patient would do well to get himself involved in a fairly athletic regime – possibly far more athletic a regime than had been built into his life for some years. If this is so it may be possible to pick up the 10-day relaxation course as a Group 1. If the cardiac reserve is good without being excellent, Group
2 is an ideal starting point, but if routine medication follows the heart attack, or if heart surgery is contemplated or has been undergone, Group 3 should be the preferred regime, despite age.
Often after an episode of coronary thrombosis spouses find themselves closer together in their feelings than they have been for some time. They may wish to learn the ‘Relax with a friend’ routine (Chapter 9), which in such cases can be a very good entrance to the health-giving citadel of the relaxation response. But whichever portal of entry is contemplated it can be stated emphatically that some positive health benefit will certainly follow.